BMG’s poll for the Independent shows that many pledges in the Labour party manifesto are popular with the public when not associated with Labour, but the public also think that the next Labour leader should change course and move away from Jeremy Corbyn’s policies in key areas such as security or taxation.
BMG asked 1,508 GB residents aged 18+ a series of questions about the direction the Labour party should take under the new incoming leader, as well as measuring the level of public support for key Labour 2019 manifesto pledges.
Several Labour party policies recorded broad support from respondents when they were presented without reference to the Labour party. In particular, providing a right to free personal care for over 65s who are in most in need of it (83%) and reducing net carbon emissions to zero by 2030 (70%) were supported by a large majority.
However, despite being popular when polled individually and without mention of the Labour leader or the Labour party, the polling also showed relatively little desire for the next Labour leader to keep a policy agenda broadly similar to that of Jeremy Corbyn, especially in the areas of defence/security and taxation.
Commenting on the findings, Robert Struthers, BMG’s Head of Polling, said:
“This poll is a perfect illustration of the problem that faced Labour in last month’s election. Polled individually – and without mention of Corbyn or indeed the Labour Party – many of these prominent manifesto commitments are popular, often commanding the support of a large majority of the public.
“However, if you ask the public to think about these areas more broadly and without policy specifics, large proportions think the next Labour leader should change course.
“Nationalisation is a prime example. 57% say they support nationalising the railways, as do 52% with respect to energy, and 53% for water. However, asked whether the Labour leader should stick with Corbyn’s stance on nationalisation, many more say they should change course than favour continuity
“These conflicting results can be explained by two main factors. First, Corbyn’s unpopularity means that his policy positions become ‘toxified’ simply by name association.
“With Corbyn’s net satisfaction ratings continuing to plummet to new lows, voters who are less aware of policy specifics may say the party needs to change direction due to their dislike for the Labour leader, despite actually agreeing with many of his manifesto commitments.
“Secondly, it is also worth pointing out that policies when being polled on an individual basis can be popular, but when taken together as part of a broader platform, voters take a different view or have a different impression as their cumulative appeal.”
An article based on these polling results, released by the Independent, can be found here.
A separate article about climate change using BMG polling data, released by the Independent, can be found here.
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results, as well as the results for polling on climate change, can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
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Andrew Price – Research Executive